Monday, January 31, 2011

Catching up with Katie Follett...

At last week's Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards show at Benaroya Hall, paulmerca.blogspot.com had an opportunity to catch up with University of Washington graduate Katie Follett (left/photo courtesy Seattle Sports Commission/Don DeLong, Red Box Pictures), who is starting her first full season as a pro running under the banner of Bothell-based Brooks Sports.

Follett talks about making the transition from collegiate running to the pro level, the opportunity to compete post-collegiately for Brooks, her stay in Europe last summer where she got a crash course in the international way of racing, and what she hopes to do this season and beyond.

She revealed that she had a minor setback with some Achilles tendon issues on her right foot, and that she wouldn't run indoors until possibly the final meet of the year at the Dempsey (the UW Last Chance meet on March 5th).

Follett is staying in Seattle and training under UW coach Greg Metcalf, who is also training 2006 NCAA 1500-meter champion Amy Lia of Bothell. Follett will also do some volunteer coaching at the UW.

Here is the video interview I conducted on the red carpet at Benaroya Hall (note: those are my hands in the picture!)



Special thanks to the Seattle Sports Commission for their assistance.

JJ Juilfs commits to Washington...

We generally leave the announcements of high school seniors announcing their intents to attend college to the recruiting/specialty high school track & field web sites like ESPN Rise (formerly DyeStat) and MileSplit, but could not pass on this item posted in the Eugene Register Guard on Friday.

Sheldon High School senior JJ Juilfs (left/photo courtesy OR.milesplit.com), the top returning pole vaulter in the nation, verbally committed to attending the University of Washington, and is expected to sign his letter of intent on the national signing day of February 2nd.

Per NCAA rules, the school cannot comment on Juilfs until the letter is officially in hand after the signing date.

“The entire time I felt like I had a choice between the best track program in the nation and the best pole vault program, and I felt with the success Washington has had with vaulters, that was a deciding factor,” he said.

Juilfs, who became the third vaulter in Oregon state history to clear 17 feet with his personal best of 17-0 3/4 at last year's Oregon State 6A championships, said he has been leaning toward Washington for a while but Oregon made a strong push with new assistant coach Jamie Cook, who will coach the vaulters.

You can read the full article here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Washington's Jeremy Taiwo wins heptathlon to highlight UW Invitational...

In a meet that traditionally has strong distance racing, it was the multi event competition that took center stage on day two of the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility.

The University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) used three personal bests in the hurdles,  pole vault and the 1000 meter run to take the men's heptathlon competition with a lifetime best score of 5746 points.

Taiwo found himself in second place at the first day break behind Oregon's David Klech at 3159 to 3080.

While Klech won the opening 60 hurdles in 7.99, he could not shake Taiwo's solid run of 8.29, a marginal PR, as the Duck stretched his lead to 4143-3990 or a 153 point lead.

In the penultimate event, Taiwo set a personal best in the pole vault, clearing 15-7 (4.75m) to score 834 points, while Klech struggled to clear 12-7.5 (3.85m) and tally 576 points, wiping out the 153 point lead, and put Taiwo at a 4824-4719 advantage.

In the 1000 meters, for Klech to earn the victory, he needed to beat Taiwo by at least 10 seconds.  Klech led wire to wire, winning in 2:31.90, but not enough, as Taiwo finished less than four second back at 2:35.68 to score 922 points in the event.

Taiwo's mark is the second best by a collegian this season, behind Miller Moss of Clemson's 5903. The Newport HS grad's 5746 total is also the fourth best mark in the world this season, but will not count because of the oversized oval at the Dempsey.

In reflecting on his two days, he felt that he needs to work on his jumping, particularly in the high jump and long jump.

The women's mile produced a minor surprise, as headliner Shalane Flanagan was upset by Lauren Johnson 4:33.64 to 4:33.81, with Johnson, primarily known as an 800 meter runner, pulling out the victory in the last 50 meters over the Olympic bronze medalist at 10000m, who is sharpening for next week's USA cross country championships in San Diego.

Washington's freshman duo of Katie Flood and Chelsea Orr finished 6-7 in 4:47.45 and 4:47.51, while Washington State's Ruby Roberts finished tenth in 4:48.97, a WSU freshman record.

In the sprints, Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson won both the men's 60m hurdles and the 400m dash and ran the anchor leg of the winning 4x400m relay.

Anderson's Saturday 60m hurdles time of 8.02 is 2/100s seconds off his lifetime-best. Anderson came back later in the afternoon to win the 400m dash in a time of 47.12.

The Cougars' 4x400m relay team of Greg Hornsby, Brandon Dawson, Jacob Sealby, and Anderson ran a time of 3-minutes, 11.84 seconds to overtake Oregon on the anchor leg, as the Ducks ran Rainier Beach graduate Michael Berry on the third leg and hope that Anderson wouldn't catch their anchor.

"I think Jeshua had real solid times in both the hurdles and the 400m but he is still evolving," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "He ran a very easy-looking 45.8 split on the anchor leg of our 4x4 relay. He is running the 400m as well right now as he ever has and I think when he puts the race together he will be very fast."

Oregon's Jordan Hasay pulled away from teammate Alex Kosinski to win the women's 3000 in 9:05.42 to 9:08.60, as both dipped under the NCAA auto qualifying mark of 9:13.00.

On the field, fans were treated to exciting action in the pole vaults, as Scott Roth of Washington and Melissa Gergel of Oregon handily took care of their competition.

Roth took the win in the men's competition, clearing 18-1 (5.51m), then took three shots at 19-0 3/4 (5.81m), one of which was decent.

Gergel beat out former Husky Carly Dockendorf 14-3.5 (4.36m) to 13-5.75 (4.11m).

Complete results of the UW Invitational are available here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oregon's Brianne Theisen sets collegiate best in pentathlon to open the UW Invitational...



Capping off an exciting first day of competition at the UW Invitational, the University of Oregon's Brianne Theisen (left/photo courtesy goducks.com) set a collegiate best in 4507 points, eclipsing Arizona State's Jacqueline Johnson's mark of 4496 points set at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Theisen got things rolling by winning the  60 hurdles in 8.45 for 1028 points, and tying for first in the high jump with a mark of 6-0 (1.83m), worth 1016 points.

In the shot put, she scored her lowest total, picking up 707 points with a throw of 41-8 (12.70), then came strong in the long jump, with a leap of 19-9 (6.02m) for 856 points to put her at 3607 with the 800 meter run remaining.

Needing to run at least 2:15.23 to get the record, she shot out of the gate, taking command of the race from the start. 

The Oregon senior from Canada crossed the 400 meter mark in 63 seconds, then went through the 600 in approximately 1:37. 

Asked afterward about her fast start, she said that she looks at the 800 as a 500, followed by a 300 that she knows will hurt.

"If I could hang on the last 200, I thought to myself I'd have a shot at it,", Theisen said afterwards, knowing that she had an 800 meter personal best of 2:15:58.

"I thought that it would be cool to score about what I did at last year's NCAA championships.  I didn't think that I'd score as high as I did tonight".

Because of the Dempsey's 307 meter oval length, Theisen will not get credit for a collegiate record, as marks must be set on tracks of 200 meters or less.

Nonetheless, her score is a current world leader, eclipsing the current world best this year of 4446 points set by Russia's Anna Bogdanova three weeks earlier.

Here is a video interview with Theisen, courtesy of media partner Flotrack.


In other events Friday, the University of Oregon women's team set a new facility record in the distance medley relay, running 11:02.15, with Jordan Hasay, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler, and Alex Kosinski on the anchor, eclipsing Stanford's mark of 11:05.16, set in 2003.

The University of Washington finished fourth in 11:34.20, with Pac 10 Cross Country newcomer of the year Katie Flood on the anchor.

2007 World Championship bronze medalist in the 10000 meter run Kara Goucher used the women's 5000 meter run as a glorified workout, winning the race in 16:11.50 wearing racing flats instead of spikes over Oregon's Brownyn Crossman (16:20.83) from Bellingham's Squalicum HS, and Western Washington's Sarah Porter (16:26.66), as Porter easily got an NCAA D2 auto qualifier.

Oregon's Luke Puskedra earned a NCAA qualifying mark in the 5000 winning in 13:46.70.

In the men's heptathlon, David Klech of Oregon has the day 1 lead, with a score of 3159, with Washington's Jeremy Taiwo close behind at 3080.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

The UW Invitational resumes Saturday at 8 am, with some of the hot distance races run in the 330-530 pm time slot, featuring Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Matt Tegenkamp in the women's and men's mile runs.


LAGAT GETS THE L AT THE GARDEN...

Just when it seemed Bernard Lagat would never be defeated again in the Wanamaker Mile, it happened Friday evening at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Lagat, who leads the all-time list with eight Wanamaker Mile wins, including six in a row, appeared to be primed to win it again as he sat right behind 2008 and 2010 World Indoor 1,500m champion Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia with four laps to go.

The two stayed in that position until Lagat turned on his kick with a lap and a half remaining. However, this time Lagat’s usual blistering finishing speed was not enough as Mekonnen beat him to the finish line in the world-leading time of 3:58.58. Mekonnen, who posted a 55-second final quarter, was victorious in his first-ever trip to Madison Square Garden. Finishing third was David Torrence in 4:00.13, with Lee Emanuel of Great Britain fourth in 4:04.91.

Complete results from the Millrose Games are available here.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

Kara Goucher entered in the 5000 at UW Invitational...

Day 1 of the UW Invitational just got a little bit more interesting with the addition of 2007 10000 meter World Championship bronze medalist Kara Goucher (#967/photo by Paul Merca) from Portland to the field in the women's 5000 meter run, scheduled to go off at 6:15 pm Friday night.

Goucher, a 2008 Olympian, is returning to the racing wars after a maternity leave last season and prepping for this April's Boston Marathon. She raced two weeks ago at the Rock 'n Roll Arizona Half Marathon in Phoenix on January 16th, running 1:14:02, losing to Madai Perez of Mexico, who ran 1:11:49.

In the days before the race, Goucher spent two nights in a Portland hospital, as 16-week old son Colt had fluid drained from an abscess on his jaw, which affected her final race prep. Nonetheless, she didn't use it as an excuse two weeks ago.

“I don’t like to lose and I don’t like to not run fast, I’m definitely ready to get home and work out. It’s motivating for sure,” said Goucher, after the race in Phoenix. “I had a great experience, but it stings a little. I’m not used to…not only losing, but being so far out of it. I accomplished what I needed to today, but I’m leaving here hungrier than when I arrived.”

In Friday's 5000, she'll face a field that included NCAA Division II cross country runner-up Sarah Porter of Western Washington and Natty Plunkett of Seattle Pacific, along with Oregon's Brownyn Crossman and Seattle University's Lauren Hammerle and Hannah Mittelstaedt.

The two-day meet begins at 3 p.m. with the start of the pentathlon and heptathlon. Renton native Jeremy Taiwo, the Pac-10 decathlon runner-up last year, will compete in his first multi of the year against a strong field that includes Cal's Michael Morrison, the NCAA decathlon runner-up last year, former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph, NCAA All American Nick Trubachik from Portland State, and high school All American Dakotah Keys, who now attends Oregon.

The women's pentathlon is highlighted by defending NCAA pentathlon and heptathlon champion Brianne Theisen of Oregon, who will match up against fellow Canadian Olympian Ruky Abdulai.

Relays are the order on the track with the women's 4 x 800 meters and a very competitive distance medley (1200-400-800-1600) relays taking place Friday.

Washington will run a young but talented women's team made up of sophomore Justine Johnson, and freshmen Michelle Fero, Mackenzie Carter, and Katie Flood, the 2010 Pac-10 Cross Country Newcomer of the Year.

Oregon and BYU also enter excellent women's teams, with the Ducks running Alex Kosinski, prep All American Laura Roesler and Jordan Hasay on their squad.

The Husky men's quartet of Ryan Soberanis, Colton Dunn, Ryan Styrk, and James Cameron will contend with a strong Oregon and UCLA foursomes, and four talented professionals from the Oregon Track Club.

Oregon's DMR squad will feature Rainier Beach grad and world junior champs 4 x 400 gold medalist Michael Berry.


Start lists for the meet are now available here.

Meanwhile, Bernard Lagat spoke briefly with Runner's World writer Peter Gambaccini in advance of Friday's Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in New York, where he aims for his ninth win at Madison Square Garden.

"I'm excited to be back here. One of the reasons to come to New York is to bring my son to play in the snow. This is a good time for him; he loved it last night."

"I've been training well. I know in order for me to win again, to win it for the ninth time, I have to be stronger than last year.  The workouts that I've been doing (are) specifically for this race, training with Coach James Li and my training partner, Boaz Lelang, who ran 1:42 (for 800) last year."

The Millrose Games will be televised Friday night on ESPN2 from 5-7 pm, pacific time.

You can read the full piece here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jessica Pixler wins Seattle Female Sports Star of the Year Award...

Seattle Pacific University graduate Jessica Pixler (left/photo by Paul Merca) beat out four other women to win the Seattle Female Sports Star of the Year award Wednesday night at Benaroya Hall.

The 2010 SPU graduate from Sammamish's Eastlake High School, just east of Seattle, was selected as the top overall female by an online fans vote. Among the nominees that she beat out were middle distance standout Katie Follett from the University of Washington.

Other nominees for the award were world champion swimmer Ariana Kukors of Auburn, UW volleyball player Jenna Hagglund, and U.S. Olympic hockey player Karen Thatcher.

Pixler is the second SPU distance runner to earn the award, following in the footsteps of the legendary Doris Brown Heritage, who won the award in 1970.

The award dates back to 1935 when the now-late Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports editor Royal Brougham – for whom SPU’s primary athletic facility is named – started the annual event.

Upon presentation of the award by Washington governor Christine Gregoire and Olympic goalkeeper Hope Solo, Pixler, who had been nominated for this award on two other occasions, seemed genuinely shocked.

“I just think that knowing who has won this award in the past and the people who were up for the award, I was not expecting this at all,” she said.

In her acceptance speech before a packed Benaroya Hall which had the feel of a local version of ESPN's ESPY awards show, she said, "This might be the most meaningful. It was really special to me because Doris has won it before”

“Just knowing the legacy behind it and that someone like Doris has won, and knowing it came from the Seattle community (from the online fans vote) gave a huge magnitude to it. Seattle has been a big part of my sports upbringing, and I was really touched that the community really honors and supports me.”

Before experiencing technical issues, here is part of the video interview paulmerca.blogspot.com conducted with Pixler on the red carpet:



Pixler is not done with her NCAA collegiate career, as she missed the 2008 outdoor season with an injury, including the US Olympic Trials. She is currently training and will compete for the University of Colorado this spring, where she is attending graduate school, as opposed to competing professionally, which she had the option to pursue.


NOTE: The Seattle Pacific University sports information office and the Seattle Sports Commission contributed to this report.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shalane Flanagan and Matt Tegenkamp entered in mile at UW Invitational...

A bevy of pros are entered in Friday and Saturday's UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility, according to the accepted entry list posted by the University of Washington.

Sharpening up for her title defense at the USA Cross Country Championships in San Diego next week, 2008 Olympic 10000 meter bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan (left/photo by Paul Merca) returns to the Dempsey to contest the mile, where she'll face a field that includes 2009 world championships competitors Bridget Franek and Geena Gall, as well as former Oregon All-American Nicole Blood.

Two weeks ago, Flanagan ran as a pacesetter for training partner Lisa Koll, as Koll set a new Dempsey facility record in the 3000, clocking 8:53.14.

University of Washington freshman Katie Flood, the Pac 10 newcomer of the year in cross country, is expected to make her 2011 indoor debut in the mile.

Gall is entered in the 800 as well.

The women's 3000 has among its entries Blood, Franek, former Bellarmine Prep and North Carolina All-American Brie Felnagle, and the season opener for Oregon sophomore Jordan Hasay.

In the men's mile, 2008 US Olympian Matt Tegenkamp is entered in the mile, along with Oregon All-American Matthew Centrowitz.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry, a world junior championships gold medalist last year in the 4 x 400 relay, is entered in the 60, 400 and on a leg of Oregon's 4 x 400 and distance medley relays.

A pair of athletes on the USTFCCCA Bowerman Watch list are entered in the meet, as Oregon's Brianne Theisen makes her season pentathlon debut on Friday, while Washington State's Jeshua Anderson is entered in the 60 hurdles and the 4 x 400 relay.

In the men's heptathlon that starts on Friday, Washington All-American Jeremy Taiwo goes against a field that includes Cal's Michael Morrison, the NCAA runner-up in the decathlon and third in last year's NCAA heptathlon, high school All-American Dakotah Keys of Oregon, former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph, and Nick Trubachik, formerly of Portland State, who was second at the NACAC U23 decathlon last summer.

Former Washington All-American Falesha Ankton makes her pro debut in the 60 hurdles against Canadian Olympians Angela Whyte and Ruky Abdulai, who is also entered in the long and high jumps.

In addition to Abdulai in the high jump, watch for Washington State's Holly Parent, and Washington's Kelly McNamee.

The women's pole vault features former Husky Carly Dockendorf, the bronze medalist at last fall's Commonwealth Games in India, against NCAA All-American Melissa Gergel of Oregon, along with Cal's Allison Stokke.

The men's pole vault features Washington's reigning NCAA indoor champ Scott Roth, in a battle against former NCAA indoor and outdoor champ Jason Colwick, reigning Pac-10 champ Ryan Vu of the UW, and NCAA D2 champ Ryan Brown of Western Washington.

The heralded Husky freshman from Boise, Kasen Covington, is entered in both the long and triple jumps. Husky All-American Elisa Bryant is slated to contest the 20-pound weight throw.

As always, the accepted entry lists are fluid and subject to change. It can be accessed here.

Heat sheets are expected to be posted within the next day or so. 

The most current time schedule is posted here, and is subject to change.  The UW Invitational gets under way Friday at 3 pm.

For those of you who are following the professional circuit, the indoor season formally opens Friday with the running of the Millrose Games at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Washington State grad and reigning world indoor 3000 meter champion Bernard Lagat is gunning for his ninth Wanamaker Mile title against a field that includes Ethiopia's Dresse Mekonnen, the two time world indoor champ at 1500.


Start lists for the Millrose Games, which will be televised on ESPN2, are available here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Husky men's squad, Viking men & women and SPU women in top 25 of latest USTFCCCA poll...

NEW ORLEANS – In the first regular national indoor team computer rankings of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for NCAA Division I teams, the men of LSU moved to No. 1 despite losing to No. 3 Texas A&M in a dual meet between the schools Saturday.

On the women’s side, the top three spots remain unchanged as the University of Oregon lost little ground regardless of a light start to the season.

The Washington men dropped two spots from their #22 pre-season rankings, while the Husky women dropped out of the top 25, after being ranked #24 in the pre-season poll.

In Division II, the men of Lincoln (Mo.) are the new No. 1 team in the country thanks to a great start to the season and a change to Saint Augustine’s roster.

On the women’s side, No. 1 Grand Valley State remains in control by a wide margin thanks to a large number of distance qualifiers plus the nation’s best mile time delivered by junior Monica Kinney (4:43.64) last weekend. Ashland remains at No. 2 while Lincoln (Mo.) and Neb.-Omaha follow at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

The Western Washington men dropped one spot to #18 from their pre-season ranking of #17, while the Viking women's squad moved up one place to #12.

Seattle Pacific's women's squad is curiously ranked #21, a drop of one spot.

The USTFCCCA Division I complete rankings can be accessed here, while the Division II rankings are available here.

Western Washington and Seattle Pacific are among the squads expected to compete at Saturday's UW Invitational, hosted by the Huskies.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Indoor track returns to Metro Vancouver with Harry Jerome Indoor meet March 12th...

Indoor track and field returns to Metro Vancouver, British Columbia after more than 20 years, as plans are unveiled for the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Indoor Track Classic to be held at the newly reconfigured Richmond Olympic Oval on March 12, 2011. 

The last major track and field competition in Vancouver was the Achilles Indoor Games was held at the Pacific Coliseum in 1988. 

This rebirth is the result of forward planning by the City of Richmond for this legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The track and field community at the elementary, high school, university and club levels in British Columbia will benefit from competitive opportunities created by this 200m track surfaced with a spike resistant Pulastic SP polymer.

In a press release, Kim Young of the Achilles International Track and Field Society said “These events will be held on a world class facility which is the result of extensive planning by the Richmond Olympic Oval staff lead by John Mills and Gerry De Ciccoalong with Fred Pawluk, President of the Kajaks Track and Field Club and Brian McCalder, CEO of BC Athletics.”

It's anticipated that this meet will be a stepping stone for Canadian athletes preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, the 2016 Games in Rio, and various IAAF championship meets, as well as provide top level competition for athletes from the Pacific Northwest.

More information on the meet will be posted here as well as the meet website at harryjerome.com
as it becomes available.

NOTE:  The meet management of the Harry Jerome Track Classic contributed to this report.

Shaquana Logan and Stephen Scott-Ellis double-winners at Cougar Indoor Invitational...

PULLMAN--Washington State sophomores Shaquana Logan and Stephen Scott-Ellis (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) were double-winners at the Cougar Indoor Invitational, a two-day meet concluding Saturday, at WSU's Indoor Facility. WSU's men's and women's team won all three of their dual contests against Idaho, Montana and Utah State.

Logan, from Tacoma, scored big points for the Cougar women, winning the 60m hurdles in a personal-record time of 8.66 seconds, taking the long jump with a leap of 18-feet, 5 inches (5.61m), and then added a second-place finish in the 200m (PR 25.82).

Scott-Ellis, also from Tacoma, was Friday night's long jump winner at 24-0 3/4 (7.33m) and returned to the sandpit Saturday to claim the triple jump with a leap of 50-1 1/4 (15.27m).

Sean Harris, a junior from Kent, Wash., won the men's heptathlon with lifetime-best total of 5,022 points, followed by Utah State's Philip Noble with 4,870 points. Harris had tallied or equaled PR marks in his four events Friday, came back Saturday morning to run the 60m hurdles in a time of 7.40, pole vaulted 14-5 1/4 (4.40m), and ran a 1000m PR time of 3:11.70.

Transfer Chanel James led a first through fourth Cougar finish in the 60m dash, opening her WSU career with a 7.79 time. Morgan Clem won the 200m in 25.42 and Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the 800m in a PR time of 2:15.90. High jumper Holly Parent equaled her 2010 Cougar Indoor meet record height of 5-8 3/4 (1.75m).

WSU sophomore Greg Hornsby ran a PR time of 6.80 in the prelims of the 60m dash but finished second to Utah State's Armahd Lewis in the final. Brett Blanshan won the 200m dash in a time of 22.29, followed by WSU newcomer Rashaun Johnson (22.64). Jaycee transfer Brandon Dawson won the 400m in his debut in a Cougar uniform, running a time of 49.29.

Another newcomer, Australian Todd Wakefield, was the top collegiate finisher in the 800m running a time of 1:53.48. Joe Abbott claimed the mile in a PR time of 4:14.08, edging out Utah State Hunter Nelson (4:14.50) at the finish line, with WSU's Matt Cronrath close behind in a time of 4:14.87. Jeshua Anderson, WSU's three-time All-American intermediate hurdler, ran identical prelim and final times in the 60m high hurdles of 8.03 seconds.

In the field events, WSU's Ryan Deese and Utah State's Clint Silcock both cleared 6-10 3/4 (2.10) in the high jump with Silcock taking first on fewer misses.

"It was a good, solid performance across the board for the Cougs," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said at the conclusion of the meet. "I felt that we competed well. We were in a battle with Utah State and it was a good track meet from that standpoint. We had a lot of positive things happen this weekend. I'm excited to move forward and get over to Seattle next weekend and see some different colored uniforms on our opposition and see how well we compete on a little bit bigger stage.

Stephan Scott-Ellis had a great weekend with a 24-plus long jump last night and then back with over 50-feet in the triple jump. He is not 100 percent on top of his game from a physical standpoint but a pretty good start to the season for Stephan.

"There are a lot of athletes I didn't mention who are on the cusp of breaking through and performing at a very high level."

Complete results, including team scores from Saturday's meet are available here...

NOTE:  The Washington State University sports information office contributed to this story.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cougars add three international athletes; face Idaho, Montana and Utah State Friday & Saturday...

Washington State University announced the addition of three Cougar newcomers that bring additional international experience to the Washington State roster.

Todd Wakefield (left/photo courtesy Athletics Australia) is an accomplished miler from Australia, where he was the Australian Schoolboys Cross Country Champion, the Australian Junior (U20) 1500m champion, ran a PR time of 3:44.84 for 1500m in Sydney, and finished sixth in the 1500 at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships (July 2010) in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Wakefield's Athletics Australia bio sheet is available here.

Jovan Vukicevic is an outstanding high jumper from Serbia, where he won the Serbian National Championship in 2008, soaring to a PR and Olympic standard of 7-5 1/4 (2.27m), in 2008-09 he advanced to high jump final at World University Games, and last year was runner-up at both the European Champions Clubs Cup (ECCC) and at the Serbian National Championship.

His iaaf.org bio sheet is available here.

Ksenija Marovič is a pole vaulter from Serbia. Marovič was the runner-up at the Serbian National Championships the past three years, and has a PR of 12-9 (3.89m).

Here is a YouTube video of Marovic:


Wakefield will have freshman eligibility.

Washington State will host the Cougar Indoor Team Scoring meet Friday & Saturday at the WSU Indoor Track Facility, featuring teams from Idaho, Utah State, and Montana.

The two day meet includes a men's heptathlon and a women's pentathlon competition.

“Last weekend I felt we had some very good performances but we need more of them. We had a lot of freshmen in uniform for the first time and others had to get the cobwebs off and get in competitive mode. We are bringing more people into uniform for this competition and I think we will show tremendous improvement this week," said WSU head track coach Rick Sloan.

“I’ve told the team that we need to keep moving forward in our performance. The best mark achieved last year now needs to be the standard, the benchmark for the next season and moving forward from there. I anticipate that our performances will continue to get better.”

The full WSU release can be read here.

NOTE:  The WSU sports information office contributed to this report.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Aretha Thurmond gives a shout out to American throwers, plus other links...

In her latest blog post, three time US Olympian and University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field) asks, "If someone ask you which events the USA dominates in track and field what would be your response?  Most say sprints, hurdles and maybe relays."

She goes on to cite that American throwers often are overlooked in the track & field conversation.

Thurmond backs up this assertion with some fun facts, courtesy of all-athletics.com, one of the sport's premier stats sites.

In an article on that site, the USA (men) and Germany (women) are the top countries in the throwing rankings.

To read Aretha's post, please click here.

Kale Schmidt of the men's track and field team is the Gohuskies.com Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan. 10-16. This is the first such honor for the Schmidt and the track and field team this year.

In his first collegiate meet as a Husky, Schmidt, a freshman out of Stanwood HS, posted two top-five individual finishes at the UW Indoor Preview on Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor.

He was fourth in the long jump (22-11/6.98m), and tied for fourth in the high jump (6-5/1.96m), and ran a leg on the Huskies' 4 x 400 relay that clocked 3:14.51and finished second to Oregon.

You can read the full story here.

In its multi-part preview of the 2011 Husky track & field team, GoHuskies.com has links previewing the men's distance runners and its sprinters.  You can read about the sprint squad here, and the male distance runners here.

All for now!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Post script from Saturday's UW Indoor Preview, plus a new entry from Kara Patterson...

While the indoor season is still very early, it's worth noting that according to the 2011 Top Lists that the IAAF publishes, several marks from Saturday's UW Indoor Preview are among the top marks in the world.

Lisa Koll's 8:53.14 is the current world leader in the 3000 meters, as is a mark that got lost in the shuffle--Josh Norman's 6.58 clocking in the 60 meter dash.

Oregon's English Gardner's time of 7.29 in the 60m is tied for fifth in the world so far this season. while Katerina Stefanidi of Stanford's 14-5 1/2 (4.41m) in the pole vault is seventh in the world.

Norris Frederick's 25-7 1/4 (7.80m) is the eleventh best mark in the world in the long jump.


The IAAF Top Lists for the 2011 indoor season can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, javelin thrower Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) has a new entry in her blog, describing how her training is going at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

Among her training partners at the OTC include Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen, the reigning two-time Olympic champion in the event, and the current world champ.

Kara notes, "The addition of Andreas to our regular training regimen has been super cool, too; obviously. We may not do the same things in practice each day, but it's always good to get a fresh perspective on things, especially when javelin knowledge is coming from such a reputable source!"


To read the full post, please click here...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sophomore Holly Parent highlights WSU Open Indoor in Pullman...

PULLMAN -- Washington State sophomore high jumper Holly Parent (left/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information) and Idaho pole vaulter Jeremy Klas, competing unattached, broke meet records Saturday at the Ninth Annual WSU Open Indoor, a two-day meet held at WSU's Indoor Facility.

Parent, from Victoria, British Columbia, won the women's high jump after clearing an indoor personal-record height of 6-feet (1.83m), and broke former Cougar Diana Pickler's 2006 meet record of 5-feet, 10 inches (1.78m). WSU sophomore Christine Rice finished second with a high jump of 5-8 (1.73m).

Klas pole vaulted 17-1 1/2 (5.22m) to break the 2007 record of 17-0 3/4 (5.20m) cleared by former WSU vaulter Tyson Byers. WSU's Jake Baertlein finished second after clearing the bar at 15-11 3/4 (4.87m).

Morgan Clem, a redshirt sophomore from East Wenatchee, Wash., was a double winner for the Cougar women. Clem won the women's 60m dash in a PR time of 7.71 seconds, and the 200m dash in a time of 25.81 seconds.

Sophomore Courtney Zalud (Colbert) led a one-two-three WSU finish in the women's 400m dash, running a PR time of 58.96 followed by Veronica Elseroad-Wall and Caroline Hedel. Freshman Ruby Roberts (Kingston) won the 800m in 2:16.34. WSU combined events specialist Angela Jensen (Tacoma) led a first through fourth finish in the 60m hurdles, running a time of 8.72 seconds, followed by Shaquana Logan Clem and Jalisa Williams. Logan, a sophomore from Tacoma, won the long jump with a PR leap of 18-10 1/2 (5.75m) with Shantae Young second, Bianca Walton third and Jensen fourth.

On the track for the Cougar men, Ryan Barrett (senior, Graham, Wash.) won the 400m dash in 50.56. Freshman Drew Jordan (Medford, Ore.) led a first-through-fourth finish in the mile, running a time of 4:23.95 and followed by Andrew Gonzales, Richard Shroy and Trevor Thompson. Matt Cronrath (redshirt sophomore, Odessa, Wash.) won the 3000m in a time of 8:43.81.

Stephan Scott-Ellis (sophomore, Tacoma) was the lone Cougar to win a field event as he leaped 23-6 (7.16m) to win the long jump.

"The best thing about the meet, after training since the middle of August until now, was putting on a uniform and measuring our throws, jumps and putting a stop watch on our runners," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "It's always exciting to finally get into competition. We had some athletes who performed at a very high standard. Holly Parent did an incredible job while having a limited number of practices high jumping. She not only had a lifetime-best but a barrier-breaker at six-feet.

Two time NCAA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson did not compete Saturday.

Washington State hosts the Cougar Indoor next weekend, with teams from Utah State, Montana and Idaho competing in the two-day scoring meet at the WSU Indoor Facility.

Complete results from the WSU Open Indoor meet are available here.

NOTE:  The WSU Sports Information office contributed to this report.

Koll, Gardner & Norman set facility records to open 2011 indoor season at the Dempsey...

The 2011 indoor track & field season began in earnest at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility as 2010 Bowerman Award finalist Lisa Koll (left/photo courtesy RunnerSpace.com) set a facility record in the featured women's 3000 meter run.

With Olympic 10000 meter bronze medalist and Oregon Track Club/Portland training partner Shalane Flanagan running interference for Koll, the Iowa State grad and reigning NCAA champion at 5000 and 10000 outdoors clocked 8:53.14, breaking the Dempsey record of 8:53.88 set by Colorado's Jenny Barringer in 2009.

Flanagan, who planned all along to be Koll's pace setter, led for close to 2100 meters before dropping off the track and letting Koll run the last 900 meters on her own.

Allie Kieffer was a distant second in 9:28.03, and Nike's Lauren Johnson out of Portland was third at 9:39.88.

Courtesy of media partner RunnerSpace.com, here is video of Koll's race.



Oregon freshman English Gardner set a school and Dempsey facility record in winning the 60 meter dash in 7.29, eclipsing Amber Purvis' 7.30 set last year.

A few minutes later, pro sprinter Josh Norman turned heads quickly with a record 6.58 second run in the men's final to eclipse Ryan Bailey's 6.61 from last year.

2009 world championships team member Maggie Vessey opened up her 2011 campaign with an easy victory in the 800, running 2:09.14, with Lauren Johnson finishing second at 2:10.60.

Another 2009 world championships team member, Michael Mai of the US Army dominated the men's 35 pound weight throw, lobbing the weight 75-4 3/4 (22.98m).

Oregon's Brianne Thiessen, a member of Canada's world championship squad in Berlin two years ago, and the reigning NCAA multi-event champion both indoors and outdoors, won the 60 meter hurdles in 8.42, defeating California high schooler Trinity Wilson.

In the men's competition on the track, Nike's Andrew Bumbalough, the 3rd place finisher in the 5000 at last year's USA championships in Des Moines, won a thrilling duel with McMillan Elite's Aaron Braun, as both just missed dipping under 4 minutes.

Bumbalough was clocked in 4:00.14, while Braun, who finished one spot behind the Georgetown grad at the USA outdoors at 5000 last year, stopped the clock in 4:00.38.

Dempsey Indoor favorite and former Husky Norris Frederick appears back in form, as he won the long jump, with a mark of 25-7 1/4 (7.80m).

The men's pole vault competition, which featured three athletes with a combined total of five NCAA titles between them--Rice grad Jason Colwick (2), UW's Scott Roth (1), and Western Washington's Ryan Brown (2 in Division II) never materialized, as Roth was second to Levi Keller at 17-5 (5.31m) on fewer misses.

Washington's reigning Pac-10 champ Ryan Vu was third at 16-7.25 (5.06m), while Colwick, who is now training in Seattle under UW vault coach Pat Licari, was in a three-way tie for fourth with Brown, and Oregon's Austin Ouderkirk.

The women's pole vault had an exciting battle between Stanford's Katerina Stefanidi, and Oregon's Melissa Gergel. Stefanidi, who hails from Athens, Greece, took home the victory in an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 14-5.5 (4.41m), with Gergel second, also with an NCAA auto qualifier of 14-1.75 (4.31m).


Complete results from the UW Indoor Preview can be accessed here.

Next up at the Dempsey is the UW Invitational, one of the premier meets anywhere in the country during the indoor season. The meet begins Friday, Jan. 28, with a number of the distance events as well as the first multi-event competition of the year. The bulk of the meet begins the next morning, Jan. 29, at 9 a.m.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Notes going into Saturday's UW Indoor Preview...

After skimming through the posted heat sheets for Saturday's UW Indoor Preview, here are some of the more notable changes:

In the women's 800, Oregon's Zoe Buckman is now out, having moved to the mile.  2009 world championships team member Maggie Vessey is still the headliner in the event;

In the men's 600, former Husky and 2009 world championships team member Ryan Brown (left/photo by Paul Merca) is now out;

The men's pole vault just got stronger, as the 2009 NCAA indoor and outdoor champion Jason Colwick, formerly from Rice University, steps into the Dempsey to face 2010 indoor champ Scott Roth from the UW, along with 2010 Pac 10 champ Ryan Vu of the Huskies, and NCAA indoor and outdoor Division II champ Ryan Brown of Western Washington;

In the men's weight throw, Michael Mai of the US Army, a 2009 world championships team member is entered.

The heat sheets for the UW Indoor Preview can be accessed here.

Meanwhile in Pullman, the heat sheets for Saturday's WSU Open Indoor meet are available here.

The meet opened Friday with Washington State junior Kjirsten Jensen winning the women's 20-pound weight throw with a toss of 57-feet, 4 3/4 inches (17.49m).

Jensen, from Arlington, Wash., threw over 56-feet three times during the competition with her winning throw coming on her sixth and final attempt. Teammate Cassie Whitfield, a junior from Spanaway, Wash., finished second with a toss of 57-1 1/2 (17.41m).

Eastern Washington freshman Jordan Arakawa, competing unattached, won the men's 35-pound weight throw with a mark of 54-4 1/2 (16.57m). Mike Jensen, from Central Washington, finished second with a throw of 49-2 1/2 (15.00m). Masters competitor George Mathews (Hayden, Idaho) threw his weight 59-8 1/4 (18.19m).

NOTE: The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan entered in Saturday's UW Indoor Preview...

While Saturday's UW Indoor Preview meet at the Dempsey Indoor is supposedly only a low-key meet, several big names are entered, according to the performance lists posted by the University of Washington on its track & field web site.

The biggest name on the accepted entry list for Saturday's UW Indoor Preview is 2008 Olympic 10000-meter bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, who is entered in the women's 3000 meter run, along with the reigning NCAA women's champion in both the 5000 and 10000 meter runs outdoors and 2010 Bowerman Award finalist, Lisa Koll (left/photo by Mike Scott), formerly from Iowa State University.

Koll and Flanagan are currently training partners competing for the Oregon Track Club/Portland under the tutelage of Jerry Schumacher.

Last November, Flanagan made her debut in the marathon, running 2:28:40 at the ING New York City Marathon, the best finish by an American in that race since 1990. In March, Flanagan helped lead Team USA to a third place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and a spot on the podium, a month after winning the USA cross country title in Spokane.

2009 World Championships team member Maggie Vessey of New Balance, who owns a personal best of 1:57.84, is entered in the 800 where she'll face USA outdoor championships competitor Lauren Johnson, formerly from Huntington University/Indiana, and Oregon's Zoe Buckman, a two-time Pac-10 champion at 800 & 1500 meters, and a 3-time All-American who finished fourth at last year's NCAA outdoor meet.

The men's mile could be intriguing, as it matches Georgetown alum Andrew Bumbalough, who now trains with the Oregon Track Club/Portland group, against former Adams State standout Aaron Braun of the Arizona-based McMillan Elite group. Bumbalough and Braun finished 3-4 at last year's USA championships in the 5000 in Des Moines, Iowa. Braun won the USATF national club cross country title last month in Charlotte, North Carolina.

McMillan Elite teammate Jordan Horn, who was 12th at the club nationals last month, is also entered in the mile.

Former Washington Husky and 2009 world championships team member Ryan Brown is slated to open his 2011 campaign by running the 600 meters. Another notable former Husky, Norris Frederick, who moved back to Seattle after spending the 2010 season training in Chula Vista at the US Olympic Training Center, is entered in the long jump.

Current Husky Scott Roth begins aim towards defending his NCAA indoor title in the men’s pole vault, as he faces Western Washington’s Ryan Brown, the current NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor champion in the event.

Oregon's Brianne Theisen, the reigning NCAA champ in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon, is entered in the 60 meter hurdles, in addition to the high jump, long jump and shot put. Theisen is one of several athletes named by the USTFCCCA Thursday in its pre-season watch list for the 2011 Bowerman Award.

Large squads from Pac-10 powerhouses Stanford and Oregon are entered in the meet, which also includes many colleges, universities, and club teams from Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia, in addition to the host University of Washington.

With early season meets, the accepted entry lists posted at the University of Washington track & field web site is fluid and always subject to change, depending on last minute scratches, withdrawals, additions, etc.

Action gets underway at 8 am. The complete time schedule is available here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quick notes on Kara Patterson & Bernard Lagat...

Here are two quick notes from the professional track & field ranks:

Javelin thrower Kara Patterson writes about the technical aspects of throwing the javelin in the latest entry in her blog.

After training elsewhere and visiting friends and family over the last few weeks, she has settled back down in Chula Vista at the US Olympic Training Center.

You can read her latest entry here.

Meanwhile, media partner Flotrack has a video posted on its site with University of Arizona distance coach James Li, a former Washington State University assistant coach, who also happens to coach Bernard Lagat.

Li talks about his relationship with Lagat, and how his training has evolved from his time at Washington State to the present.

Lagat is scheduled to make his 2011 season debut at the Millrose Games in New York on January 28th.

Two time NCAA 400H champ Jeshua Anderson on initial Bowerman Award watch list...

NEW ORLEANS – The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee in conjunction with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) gave their first look at the 2011 male contenders for The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s biggest and best award. With all three finalists from the 2010 season graduating, a fresh new crop will be among those vying for the award over the next several months.

The watch list includes three out-right sophomores and 2009 finalist German Fernandez. Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) returns to the watch list for a record ninth time. Anderson, along with 2010 finalists Ashton Eaton and Ryan Whiting, was on the award’s watch lists for each of the updates last year.

Anderson, the NCAA 400-meter hurdle champion in 2008 and 2009, was the national runner-up in the same event in 2010. Only once last year was Anderson bested in the 400 hurdles and that was in the national final to South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch. In running a 48.63 for his third-straight Pac-10 title, Anderson recorded the second-best time by a collegian in 2010 and matched UCLA’s Kevin Young as the only to win three straight league crowns in the event.

Anderson opens his season this Saturday, as Washington State hosts the WSU Indoor Open meet Friday and Saturday at the WSU Indoor Facility.

The USTFCCCA release and the complete list of athletes on the Bowerman watch list is available here.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Western Washington begins the 2011 indoor season with two nationally ranked squads...

NEW ORLEANS – The first-ever preseason national computer rankings for NCAA Division II indoor track & field were released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The men of Saint Augustine’s and the women of Grand Valley State claim the early season top spots.

Computer rankings were used for Division II in 2010, but for the first time, preseason data mixes with current-year data to produce a ranking score for each of the teams. The process is similar to what has been used by Division I since 2008. Preseason ranking data will continue to be part of the ranking process through week three (February 8).

The Western Washington men's squad, led by defending NCAA Division II pole vault champion Ryan Brown (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) is ranked #17 in the pre-season poll.

The Viking women's squad is ranked #13, led by All-American Sarah Porter, who had an outstanding cross country season, and is among the top returning distance runners nationally.

The Seattle Pacific women's team is ranked #20 in the pre-season poll, led by pole vaulter Melissa Peaslee. In a quirk in the USTFCCCA rankings, the Falcons are ranked in the top 25 based off of their 11:14.85 in the distance medley relay from last year, despite the fact that Jessica Pixler, Lisa Anderberg, and Jane Larson have graduated from last year's squad (400m runner Jennifer Pike is the only returning member from that DMR team that won the national title).

The complete release can be read here, while the national rankings are available here.

Western Washington's preview release can be read here, while Seattle Pacific's release is available here.

The Vikings and the Falcons are among a number of squads that open the indoor season this Saturday at the UW Indoor Preview at the Dempsey Indoor Facility.

This year’s NCAA Indoor Championships will be held on March 11-12, again in Albuquerque, N.M. Week one computer rankings will be released on Tuesday, January 25.

Across the state, Washington State University's indoor track and field teams open the 2011 indoor season with the Ninth Annual WSU Indoor Open. WSU Indoor Facility's Mondo track features racing at 60m, 200m, 400m, mile, 800m and 3000m with 60m hurdles as well as a co-ed 4x400m relay.

Jumping and throwing field events will be contested on the turf inside the oval, while the men's 35-pound and women's 20-pound weight throws take place Friday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m. The remaining field events will begin Saturday, Jan. 15, at 8:30 a.m. with running events set to start at 10 a.m.

You can read the complete Washington State University release here.

Finally, here's a video, courtesy of media partner Flotrack with former University of Washington standout Amy Lia, a 2006 NCAA champion at 1500 meters, who is now running professionally for Brooks.

Over the next six weeks, Brooks and Flotrack will introduce the public to the Brooks Beasts, a collection of elite women on the Brooks Elite Running team. The Beasts will be telling you their "PR" stories that help propel their running careers.

Another former Husky, Katie Follett, is a member of the so-called Brooks Beasts women's squad. You'll see her story in the weeks to come.



NOTE: Western Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, Washington State University, and Brooks Sports contributed to this report.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quick link on the Washington women's distance crew...

With the Washington Huskies opening their indoor track season Saturday January 15th with the UW Indoor Preview at the Dempsey, here's the first of a series of posts previewing the UW track team, with the focus on its nationally renowned women's distance crew.

The Huskies have as deep and talented a roster on the women's side as any team in the country, and the only drawback of the past cross country season is that only seven get to run in the end. Track allows the full breadth of the program to impress.

Steeplechaser Mel Lawrence and middle distance standout Christine Babcock are expected to be the leaders of the 2011 Husky distance crew, as both have earned All-America honors on the track in the past.

One not so surprising revelation of the preview, written by the UW Sports Information office, is that five of its freshmen are aiming for spots on the USA junior national cross country team, which will be contested on February 5th in San Diego.

UW coach Greg Metcalf sees Liberty Miller, Mackenzie Carter, and Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca), as well as prep national champ Megan Goethals and local standout Chelsea Orr keeping their attention on the trails for a few more weeks before getting to the track.

"One of our goals with our freshmen is to get to the first week of February and take a shot at making the USA Cross Country Junior Team," Metcalf says. "We have five women that are junior age eligible, so we have a chance to run a whole team at that meet."

To read the full story, please click here.

NOTE:  The UW Sports Information office contributed to this report.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nike & TomTom unveil NIKE+GPS sport watch; USTFCCCA releases national pre-season indoor rankings...

LAS VEGAS--One of the biggest raves from this week's annual Consumer Electronics Show was the launch of the Nike+ GPS Sports Watch.

The new running watch, unveiled at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, will provide athletes with the most dynamic and motivational running experience in the world thanks to its unique functionality, beautiful design, and direct connection to www.nikeplus.com, the world’s leading running community with almost 4 million members.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS is designed for high-performance with an extremely clear and readable user interface that delivers the information necessary to the user while in-run. It adds personalization and motivational features to the running experience, including audible sounds, challenges, run reminders and more.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS is scheduled to be at retail stores and online in the U.S. and the U.K. beginning April 1. Broader distribution is scheduled for July 1.

The Nike+ SportWatch GPS is designed to be simple and intuitive with only three buttons and a Tap Screen for navigation. During the run, the new Nike+ SportWatch GPS captures location information while showing runners their time, distance, pace, and calories burned on an easy-to-read screen featuring a customizable layout. Throughout the run, the GPS receiver works in tandem with the shoe-based Nike+ Sensor to deliver highly accurate pace and distance data.

Courtesy of Nike, here's a short video revealing the watch.



USTFCCCA PRE SEASON RANKINGS REVEALED...

The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its pre-season indoor track & field team rankings, and it has the University of Washington men's team ranked #22, and the women's squad ranked #24.

Defending national champions – Florida’s men and Oregon’s women – top the field early on. Preseason rankings are calculated using performance data from previous seasons and coaches and SIDs report those eligible for the rankings.

Washington is ranked on the men's side based on the Huskies returning defending pole vault champ Scott Roth and distance runner Colton Tully-Doyle, and on the women's side, distance runners Christine Babcock and Mel Lawrence, along with weight thrower Elisa Bryant.

The Huskies open the 2011 campaign on January 15th with the UW Indoor Preview meet.


The complete Division I rankings can be accessed here.

NOTE:  The media relations staff at Nike & the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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